A brief history of EARTHTIME

Here we outline the evolution of EARTHTIME, its past, and plans for its future.

The pre-EARTHTIME geochronology landscape

The pre-EARTHTIME (i.e., prior to 2003) geochronology landscape is one where

Absolute ages are exactly.

Precision outstripping accuracy

U-Pb vs. 40Ar/39Ar years

The birth of EARTHTIME

EARTHTIME was established in 2003.  The inaugural EARTHTIME workshop was organised by Sam Bowring and Doug Erwin, was held at the Natural History Museum, Washington DC October 2003 and involved a ~50:50 mix of ‘geochronologists’ and ‘geochronology consumers’. Since the start of EARTHTIME there has been a focus on the application of geochronology to the stratigraphic record, largely as this This was correct but may have skewed the external perception of EARTHTIME.  At this workshop a number of challenges were identified (capacity, inability to get pilot radio-isotopic data, precision exceeding accuracy).  The response of the radio-isotopic dating community to the 2003 workshop was a recognition that interlaboratory and inter-chronometer biases were key targets…


Phase 1: Calibrating the Clocks (2003 onwards)

An outcome of the EARTHTIME I workshop

Outcomes of EARTHTIME Phase I

  • Intercalibration of U-Pb and 40Ar/39Ar systems to the 0.2% level
  • Calibration of the U-Pb system back to SI units
  • Standardisation of the U-Pb ID-TIMS system with common tracers and bespoke reference materials
  • Cyber infra-structure

Phase 1: Growing EARTHTIME

Going away from the 0.1%…

Since inception (2003) EARTHTIME has been centred in the US but very much with an international attitude. EARTHTIME-EU and GTSnext, EARTHTIME China

Phase 2: EARTHTIME 2.0

Priorities for EARTHTIME Phase II

In 2016 members of the EARTHTIME Initiative gathered at two workshops to discuss the future of the EARTHTIME Initiative

  • Focus on…